Throwback Thursday

turkey crochet hatI started crocheting five or six years ago. One of the first projects I worked on was baby hats that my women’s group at church was making for a local hospital. Most of mine came out fine, but one was very wonky. It came out very tiny, and I realized it about halfway through and was just going to toss it and start over. Tim, my partner, had other ideas.

I bought this turkey a long time ago as a seasonal decoration. Tim decided he liked it a lot and wanted it out all year, so “Tom” guarded our (at the time) overflowing DVDs. Tim decided that Tom needed a hat, so now we have the year-round Thanksgiving turkey with a pink/brown/green crochet hat.

Today, Tom still has a place of honor in our living room. I have since done some decluttering and I don’t have the overflowing DVD problem I used to have, so he is hanging out by the TV, next to a little bird made from a gourd and a little angel that lights up. We class it up around here.


Hearts for Valentine’s Day

Valentines Day Crochet

I have a thing for hearts. There, I said it. It’s a bit girly for me but I’ve always loved them, no matter the time of year. So, I’m sharing five free crochet heart patterns from around the internet. These are easy to read and quick to stitch, so you can make some in plenty of time for Valentine’s Day. garlands, coasters, appliques for hats, decoration for seasonal trees. Play with different types and sizes of yarn and hooks and have fun! (Great way to use up those little bits of leftover yarn.)


Wilkinson heartEmma Wilkinson Designs

This is an easy heart stitched in two rounds, with a nice ridge between them. Photos for each step are provided, as well as written instructions in English and UK terminology.



SONY DSCPlanet June

This collection of four hearts is easy to stitch. One of the hearts is two put together with a little stuffing in the middle. The written patterns are accompanied by step-by-step photos.



granny heartCrochet Tea Party

I’m a sucker for granny squares, so HAD to include this fun granny heart! A diagram is also available for crocheters who prefer them to written directions.




puffy heartCrochet Club

For crocheters who prefer video instructions, here’s one for making these cute 3-D hearts.




atty heartAtty’s

The pattern for this larger heart is available as in written steps and a diagram.

WIPocalypse 2018 – January

WIPocalypse 2018 January

A few days late, but it coincides with WIP Wednesday…so, I am posting my WIPocalypse update today on purpose. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it!

This year, I’m taking part in the Stitching Olympics SAL in the Endurance Race, meaning I’m going to focus on one piece during the Olympics. I’m tweaking that a little for my needs, as sometimes my eyes and hands need a different type of project to work on. So, I will work on one cross stitch piece and one crochet afghan/throw. I’m hoping to be done with the promised throws by then, but we’ll see. I haven’t decided which cross stitch project to work on, yet. I’m pretty happy with my progress on Quaker Mermaid, so maybe that one. We’ll see.

NP bookmark duoJanI DID actually finish a WIP I’ve had haunting me for a few years: a needlepoint bookmark. After going back to it, I remembered why I stopped and had stitched so much of the non-black colors. The black paint is a little thicker than the other colors, so it covers the holes just a little more. In turn, I had to use a bit more force to push the needle and wool through the canvas. It was a little taxing on my hands but it’s finished.  I used Vineyard Merino Wool, which has a nice little twist to it and is very nice to work with on 18 count. Now to either take it to a finisher to make into a bookmark or to figure out if I can do this myself without a sewing machine. I think I can learn how to finish pieces on fabric, but canvas may be too tough without a sewing machine. It’s not high on the list at this point. but the stitching is done!

Moogly 2018CAL 1I have another finish, but it’s part of a larger project – the Moogly 2018 CAL. I started one of these last year or the year before, but I didn’t like the yarn I chose. I tried other yarn but just wasn’t happy, then I got busy with work and life. Tamara releases a new square every two weeks (from different designers), so we’re up for another one this week if my figures are correct. This is the first one from January. I originally thought the light blue was a bit too bright for this combo, but I like it now that I see it worked up with the other colors. The yarn I am using is Knit Picks Brava Worsted – very reasonably priced and soft. I love working with the Brava yarns! I plan to stick to a similar color pattern for my other squares so that there is some consistency in the afghan and am using the dark grey for the outer edge of each square and connecting all the squares at the end. I need to purchase some blocking squares so I can make all these look nice and straight, but this works for now.

Quaker Mermaid duoJanI made a lot of progress on Quaker Mermaid. To be honest, I’ve made mistakes here and there in counting, but am lucky that where they are is pretty arbitrary so everything turns out OK. It’s a pain to take out over-one stitches! I’m stitching this over one with one strand of floss using the continental stitch so that my stitches don’t disappear into the fabric. I don’t like the way my crosses look over one – too bulky. So, that is probably helping me stitch her quickly. I bought the chart and specialty flosses at Celebration of Needlework in Nashua last year. I intended to stitch it sooner than I actually did, but many of the colors were not present. So, I replaced them with similar colors and I love them, particularly the green in her tail.

purple throw 1-28-18As for my crochet, I have finished crocheting one throw I was working on. It’s a square shell stitch blanket, one of those that starts in the center and works around it like a granny square does. I love creating blankets like that! The corners messed me up a few times, mainly because I wasn’t paying attention while chatting, but I went back and fixed them as I found them. Funny, this is the second time I’ve stitched this pattern, and I rarely did that the first time. I guess sometimes we get a little complacent. I need to weave in the ends – my most hated crochet job – then it will be truly finished. This throw was stitched using three skeins of Caron Big Cakes in Grape Jelly and a 5.5mm hook. Obviously, the Big Cakes have more yardage than the standard Caron Cakes. The other difference is that the Big Cakes are 100% acrylic, while the original Caron Cakes have 20% wool. This will make a difference to those with allergies and in how projects are washed. The original cakes have more colors.

Thanks for reading. 🙂

2018 WIPocalypse

Wow. I knew it had been quite a while since I’d posted here, but time really does fly. My job got in the way, and since my blog is one of many hobbies, it was one of the things that had to go. I hope that, in the future, I will allow myself time to keep up with posting, even if it isn’t as often as I’d like. I tend to have an all-or-nothing attitude, but often the middle road is the way to go.

(As an aside, WordPress is way different than it was. I was using it at work on an almost daily basis until August, but it hadn’t been updated in years. Going to be a bit of a learning curve, but that’s a good thing – better to keep up with changing technology than hold onto the old.)

Anyway, I’m once again trying my hand at WIPocalypse. I’ve started a few times, but never finished; too anxious to start new things to finish a lot of what I already have going. Well, since I’m currently “between jobs” and have all these WIPs — many of which are over halfway stitched — I figure I’ll give it another go. I’m also taking part in the Stitch from Stash challenge, where one budgets an amount per month to be used on any necessary items for current projects, and “earns” money for completing projects. I say “earns” in quotes because it’s still your money, but it’s a way of rewarding yourself for finishing projects. The group on Facebook is closed until (I think) June, but it’s something a person could also do on his/her own.

26168503_10214951003146573_7934346979502917583_nIn good news, I’ve already finished one of the needlepoint WIPs I had when I started 2018 (see left). Nothing huge, and it was nearly done. Why did I not finish it? Well, I recently went through my crafty stuff and purged a lot of items that I realized I will probably never stitch. To be honest, I still have some of those, but at least everything fits into its allotted space — which is a big deal. When I did that I found some forgotten projects, like this little ghosty. So, one down, way too many to go!

WIPocalypse 2018 Goals

There are projects on which just making progress will be, well, progress, and others I hope to finish. So many of my WIPs are at least halfway done that I should be able to do well. I’m also including my crochet projects. I’m already behind on some holiday gifts. I usually crochet pretty quickly, but lately my hands have been falling asleep and I have to take more breaks, which doesn’t happen when I needlepoint or cross stitch. There are details and stories behind all of these, but I’ll share them as I work on them (though probably only of interest to me), because this post is going to be long enough as it is.

Cross Stitch — to finish

Coffee by Alessandra Adelaide

coffee duo

Corners (stitched over one) by Keslyn’s

Corners 1-1-18

Enchanted Garden by Enchanting Lair

Angel of the New Dawn by Mirabilia

angel of the new dawn duo


Gold Medieval Sampler by Eve Rêve


Tsunami Charity Sampler by Martina Dey (I changed the colors)

tsunami duo


Cross Stitch — make progress

Quaker Mermaid (stitched over one) by AuryTM


Quaker Diamonds by Rosewood Manor

Quaker Diamonds duo

Misty Morning Vineyard by Chatelaine (Yes, that’s part of one corner, lol.)

misty morning vineyard duo

Song of Solomon Ship Sampler by Robyne Melia (I chose my own colors, though original is stunning. Thought I was farther along on this…)

ship sampler duo

Garden Verses by Mirabilia

garden verses duo

Spring Queen by Mirabilia (changed colors around so she’d have mainly blue dress)

spring queen duo


Needlepoint — to finish

Travel Frog (looks weird now, but it’s frog shaped and will be stuffed)


Black bookmark


Geisha Cats by Patt and Lee (So close for a long time. Need to get over perfection issues with ribbon and get it done.)

NP Geisha Cats 1-1-18

Crochet – to finish (no photos at this time)

Tim’s humongous blanket

Three throws

2018 Moogly CAL (crochet-along) afghan (for me!)


April WIPocalypse – Stitching progress

I have been mostly crocheting and cross stitching lately, not getting far on my needlepoint projects. I’ve made a lot of progress on some charity projects, which is a good thing. I’m looking forward to going to Celebration of Needlepoint at the end of the month where I will start a project not on the list – Northern Expressions’ Twisted Bank Sampler.


Projects to start in 2015 – progress since 3/7/15

Woodland Fairy 4-4-15

Woodland Fairy by Mirabilia on 32ct. Misty Blue linen

Cross Stitch
2001 Mirabilia Cherub – none
Blossom Harvest – none
Mermaid of Atlantis – none
Queen Mermaid – none
Woodland Fairy – several hours
Touching the Autumn Sky – none
Amethyst Fairy – a few hours
Christmas Wishes – a few hours


10 infinity scarves for gifts or to sell – not started
Temperature scarf – ongoing (but no recent progress)
Moogly’s 2015 Crochet-Along afghan – restarted with new colors and yarn, only block 1 is finished (but no progress this month)
special project I need to finish with a friend in February – FINISHED! It was a rainbow stole a friend of mine and I at church stitched for our pastor’s first commitment ceremony.


Projects to finish in 2015 – progress since 3/7/15

Garden Verses - 4-4-15

Garden Verses by Mirabilia on light blue linen

Cross Stitch
Garden Verses (Mirabilia) – several hours
Angel of the New Dawn (Mirabilia) – not a stitch since 2/10
Sleeping Beauty (Mirabilia) – not a stitch since 2/10 (OMG, this one’s taking for-ev-er!)
Mermaids of the Deep Blue (Mirabilia) – a few hours
Quaker Diamonds (Rosewood Manor) – several hours

Needlepoint (I don’t remember designers at the moment) – haven’t stitched on any needlepoint projects
Geisha Cats (picture at top, just need to finish the ribbon embroidery and beading in “hair”)
Chinese Dragon – none
St. Basil’s – none
Santa stocking – none

Tim’s afghan – not a stitch
Temperature scarf – ongoing, but no recent progress
Moogly’s 2015 Crochet-Along afghan – restarted with new colors and yarn, only block 1 is finished (no recent progress)
Baby blanket (soooo close, can finish it in a night or two) – finished in February, but gave it away before I got a final picture

Mo shawl 4-4-15

WIP – shawl for my sister using Berroco Modern Cotton (color – Bluebird)

Other projects (there will always be some!)
Three charity scarves – finished in February
Four more charity scarves — finished in Feburary
Receiving blanket for charity – finished in March
prayer shawl for charity – finished
prayer shawl for charity 2 – started
prayer squares for charity – 27 stitched in March-early April
Chain stitch infinity scarf for a friend – finished
Fairie Treasures – no progress since 2/10
shawl for my sister – made some progress after starting over using different design

April WIPocalypse – Part One

Which specialty stitches do you love doing on projects?  Which do you dread?

I like most specialty stitches. I started learning them while stitching designs from Just Nan and the Just Cross Stitch Christmas Ornament issues, and both had great instructions for all sorts of stitches. When I started to needlepoint a few years back, I learned how to use special stitches to make painted needlepoint canvases more interesting when I stitched them, and I have reference books I use for ideas regarding stitches that are good for sky, water, buildings, etc. I love the look of a needlepoint canvas with different stitches.

My favorite stitches vary, depending on what I’m doing. I tend to like Rice, Herringbone, Algerian Eye, and Rays when working on linen. When I’m needlepointing a painted canvas, I often find myself using Byzantine, Diagonal Mosaic, Cashmere, and Scotch stitches. I sometimes use “light stitching” on painted canvas, where the effect is more about giving the color that is already on the canvas a bit more interest than to completely cover it.

I also like to learn new crochet stitches, though I’m not as accomplished a crocheter as I’d like. I want to learn Tunisian Crochet and how to make Broomstick Lace. I’m also starting to work with crochet thread and smaller hooks, so we’ll see how that goes.

As far as stitches I dread, there are only a few:

  • I refuse to make Bullion Knots – and I have a good reason. I made lots of them on a freestyle piece I made several years ago, and something about the way I was making them gave me tendonitis in one hand, and it took a long time to go away. I love the look of them, but it’s just not worth it.
  • My Queen stitches look horrid on linen, but not as bad on canvas, for some reason. There is probably a trick to making these that I haven’t yet learned.
  • I was scared to death of Hardanger for years, but took one of Julie Norton‘s classes at Celebration of Needlework two years ago and am a little better, though I should probably take a refresher course or sit down with my work, as I haven’t worked on it for a while.

Crochet – Keyhole Ripple Stitch

prayer shawl - keyhole ripple stitchI’ve tried a few ripple stitches, but this is my favorite because I don’t have to worry about increases and decreases. I also like the look of the “keyhole,” as it adds a little airiness to project. I quickly finished this prayer shawl using the Keyhole Ripple Stitch, a solid yarn and a variegated yarn. I plan on using this a lot in the future, and I think it would also make pretty scarves using various types of yarn.


I found easy instructions at New Stitch A Day. The blog provides a plethora of crochet and knitting tutorials and allows fellow bloggers to share them. If you haven’t checked it out, I highly recommend it.

St. Patrick’s Day sampling

Photo by kkmarais on Flickr

Photo by kkmarais on Flickr

If you are in the mood to do some green or Irish-themed stitching these days, I found just a few items that you may like. As you know, a Google search will turn up a ton of such designs. I thought I’d share a few that I found that I liked.

Letters Leprechuans Luck

Letters, Leprechauns, and Luck from Blue Ribbon Designs

The cross stitch design I chose is Letters, Leprechauns, and Luck from Blue Ribbon Designs. The model is stitched on 40ct linen with a mix of DMC and Sampler Threads. It could be easily stitched on 32ct or 28ct linen, it will just be bigger. The Sampler Threads could be switched out for similar DMC, but you’d lose some of that hand-dyed effect.

Glitz and Glamour Emerald from DebBee's Designs

Glitz and Glamour Emerald from DebBee’s Designs


The needlepoint design I really liked for St. Patrick’s Day is this gorgeous green counted canvaswork piece from DebBee’s Designs. If you visit her site, you will see so many gorgeous designs that you won’t know where to begin. Her Glitz and Glamour designs each focus on one particular shade of a color (for the most part), and this one is Emerald.

Free shamrock square from from

Free shamrock square from from

Finally, I found this really pretty shamrock square design that is lacier and different from most of the chunkier designs I’ve found. This is a free design from, but you have to be a member (it’s free) in order to download it. I’d probably stitch it in a more green and less sage color than is here, but I like the design itself very much.

Throw Back Thursday

Christmas Elegance

This was the second Mirabilia I finished, and I think she’s my favorite of them all, though “favorite” tends to be a moving target when it comes to Mirabilia designs. I just love the colors in this one, the beads, the metallics – everything. 🙂 When I stitched her, it was the most beadwork I had done on one project. I believe she is stitched on 32ct Misty Blue Wichelt linen. I have since discovered I prefer Zweigart to Wichelt, but I have stitched a few Mirabilias on this color and like the end result.

WIP Wednesday

WIP Wednesday 3-11-15

This week seems to have been my cross stitch week. For a long time, I was crocheting most of the time, but now I seem to have my cross stitch mojo back. Stitching all those beautiful Mirabilias definitely helps – that, and I’m looking forward to Celebration of Needlework in Nashua, NH at the end of April. I finally finished starting the rest of my 15 Miras in 15 Days list. I made decent progress on all of them, but am particularly happy with Woodland Fairy, probably because I backstitched her face so that she seems a bit more real. Above are my most recent photos (in order) of Mermaids of the Deep Blue (not sure of fabric), Christmas Wishes (on 32ct Dyeing4U 32ct Gold Dust lugana), Amethyst Fairy (on 32ct Ray of Light linen, and Woodland Fairy (stitched on 32ct Misty Blue linen).

Most of these I started this past week, but I started Mermaids of the Deep Blue back in January, so I actually have a comparison photo. I find it really helps me to see my progress when I put them next to each other. To be honest, I would have had more done on this one if I hadn’t been off on the skin of the arms of the second mermaid and had to take some of it out. Still I’m happy with my progress. (The second photo is a more accurate color portrayal, as the first one is a bit grey.)

First photo, 1-16-15

First photo, 1-16-15 (several days of work)

Second photo, 3-11-15

Second photo, 3-11-15